Indian men’s football team head coach Igor Stimac heaped praise on the performance by Naorem Roshan Singh following the latter’s debut for the national team. The Blue Tigers narrowly lost to Bahrain in their friendly match on Wednesday evening, at the Madinet Hamad Stadium in Hamad Town, Bahrain.

Despite a brilliant penalty save from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu early in the first half, Bahrain drew first blood in the 37th minute. India restored parity in the 59th minute, only to see Mahdi Al-Humaidan net the winner in the dying minutes of the game.

Roshan was among the many players donning the jersey for the first time in their career. However, it was the side-back who impressed the most, having provided the assist for Rahul Bheke, who scored the only goal for India in the evening.

"I am very happy about young Roshan Singh who confirmed he is a future Indian star — not just in the Indian Super League, but also at the international stage,” said Igor Stimac to AIFF Media Team.

The Bengaluru FC player was phenomenal in the Hero ISL 2021-22, having provided seven assists in the season (the most by an Indian player), along with a goal. He was instantaneously called up by Stimac for the preparatory camp ahead of the international friendlies and subsequently handed the first cap.

Despite the loss, the gaffer was pleased with the way the young guns fared against a higher ranked team. India will be up against Belarus in their next fixture, on Saturday evening.

"It was a good day for all the boys to gain the experience. They all did well and they need to keep competing for their positions in the national team,” added the head coach.

Also Read: Breathing fire: Naorem Roshan’s coming of age season that earned him Emerging Player Award

The ongoing friendlies are part of the rehearsals ahead of India’s 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers third round in June, later this year. India have been pitted alongside Cambodia, Afghanistan and Hong Kong in Group D of the event, with all the matches to be held in Kolkata.